The Best Places to Eat and Drink in Australia's Yarra Valley

Courtesy Innocent Bystander
Courtesy Innocent Bystander
Monique La Terra

With approximately 160 wineries and a viticulture industry dating back to 1838, most people who visit Victoria’s Yarra Valley do so for the wine. But the region is also renowned for its culinary flair, and with restaurants popping up throughout the area, it’s time to take a look at the best places to eat and drink in the Yarra Valley.

1. Ezard at Levantine Hill

Restaurant, European, Australian

Earl Carter and Levantine Hill
Courtesy of Earl Carter and Levantine Hill

Architecturally striking and gastronomically rousing, it’s no wonder that Ezard at Levantine Hill was given the People’s Choice Award in The Age Good Food Guide 2017. A partnership between hatted chef Teage Ezard and Levantine Hill Estate, the restaurant is divided into an all-day dining room and a restaurant, complete with giant wine barrels that serve as private tasting booths. Unlike most restaurants where the wine complements the food, Ezard’s European fare is crafted to emphasise the acclaimed Levantine Hill wines. Note that patrons should enter via Hill Road.

2. Meletos

Cafe, Pizzeria, Restaurant, Australian

Bundled between Yarra Glen and Healesville, down a quiet country road, you’ll find Meletos, a regional café with gabled ceilings and a menu that celebrates local produce. The family behind Stones of the Yarra Valley and The Stables at Stones have transformed the once-abandoned farm buildings into a spectacular collection of spaces that include an events space and a 23-room boutique guesthouse. Tuck into wood-fired pizzas, or enjoy a selection of regional Victorian delights, including cheese from Yarra Valley Dairy.

3. De Bortoli Locale

Restaurant, Italian, Beer, Wine

Situated on the De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, Locale is a trattoria inspired by Northern Italy, and borrowing from the traditional philosophy of sharing good food with loved ones. Head chef Adam Mead’s menu is dictated by the seasons with chestnuts in the winter and ripe heirloom tomatoes in summer. Locale also boasts an on-site cheese maturation room, but the centrepiece remains the winery itself, and no visit is complete without a glass or two.

4. TarraWarra Estate

Restaurant, Contemporary, Australian, Vegetarian

One of the Yarra Valley’s most picturesque wineries, TarraWarra Estate is poised on a hillside and features a cellar door, restaurant and on-site art gallery. Looking out onto the estate, the restaurant is intimate and serene, particularly with a glass of Chardonnay in hand. Head Chef Troy Spencer’s menu is an ever-changing array of contemporary dishes that reflect the kitchen’s garden—think duck ham with whipped walnut, baby beetroot and crisp quinoa or corn-fed chicken with figs, almonds and leeks.

5. Innocent Bystander

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Pastry Shop, European, Spanish, Vegetarian

Innocent Bystander
Courtesy Innocent Bystander

Upon entering Innocent Bystander, your eyes can’t help but dart across the colossal steel loft, which is casual and effortlessly cool. The 15-meter bar features temperature controlled copper wine taps. You can sample any of their wines, from Prosecco to Syrah, by the glass or carafe. There’s also a smorgasbord of appetising dishes, including wood-fired pizza and paella, as well as grazing boards and irresistible pastries.

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